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TN Reaches Out To Migrant Workers And Nitish, Bihar Team In Chennai

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday reassured his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar that all migrant workers are safe and the police of the southern State registered cases against two journalists including the editor of a Hindi daily for spreading rumours.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday reassured his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar that all migrant workers are safe and the police of the southern State registered cases against two journalists including the editor of a Hindi daily for spreading rumours. The issue of fake claims on attacks in Tamil Nadu on the migrant workforce snowballed into a political slugfest between the ruling DMK and the BJP and on the same issue, the Saffron party targeted the Nitish Kumar-led regime in Bihar, which dispatched an official team for fact-finding. Stalin said he spoke to Nitish Kumar over the phone and assured him that no harm would befall workers and conveyed to him that "all workers are our workers who help Tamil Nadu's growth and nothing will happen to impact them, I have assured him."


Addressing an event in Chennai, Stalin said nobody could create differences among parties opposed to the BJP. He reiterated tough action against elements disrupting law and order, which is seen as a veiled attack on BJP. A four-member team of officials from Bihar arrived in Chennai and held discussions with authorities including Labour department officials and they are expected to meet senior State officials and Bihari workers as well in places like the textile hubs of Coimbatore and Tirupur. In Chennai, Bihar Rural Development Secretary D Balamurugan told reporters that talks with TN officials was satisfactory and that the Tamil Nadu government extended full support and cooperation.


"The circulation of fake videos caused apprehension among the Bihari workforce. We held discussions with police officials. We will visit Tirupur and other districts for spot assessment. Later, we will hold a discussion with senior State officials. Ours is a two-day visit," Balamurugan said. In Patna, police said the Bihar team comprising D Balamurugan, the Secretary for Rural Development, P Kannan, the Inspector General of Police (CID), Alok Kumar, the Labour Commissioner, and Santosh Kumar, SP, Special Task Force would meet top TN officials. Senior TN police officials in districts with a sizable population of migrant workers including Tirupur addressed them and requested them to be vigilant and not fall prey to rumours. Hindi-speaking IPS officers have also spoken to them.


On the political front, DMK squarely blamed the BJP for playing dirty politics over the issue by levelling false allegations and Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai alleged that during the last two years after the DMK came to power, many derisive speeches were made by DMK MPs and Ministers against north Indian workers. Addressing Kumar as his 'revered brother,' Stalin said in an official release that workers from northern States need not have any kind of apprehensions over working in Tamil Nadu. In the unlikely event of somebody intimidating them, they may immediately inform the police and immediate action shall be taken. Stalin's reassurance followed false claims on social media platforms that migrant workers, especially 'Bihari labourers' in Tamil Nadu were attacked.


The TN CM said: "Those spreading rumours that workers from other States are being attacked in Tamil Nadu are against the Indian nation, they infringe the national integrity. Some doing cheap politics over a non-issue is condemnable." Industry bodies in Tamil Nadu urged Stalin to disseminate messages in Hindi to "ease the tension" among the migrant workforce. The administrative and police authorities in Tirupur and Coimbatore districts, where a high number of migrant workers are employed in the textile industries warned of tough action against those spreading rumours. A case was registered against the Editor of Dainik Bhaskar newspaper in Tirupur North Police Station under IPC sections covering promoting enmity and mischief causing fear among the public, a TN police press release said.


Another case has been registered in Tirupur Cyber Crime Police Station against Mohammad Tanvir (TanveerPost Twitter handle) under the IPC for making imputations prejudicial to national integration, making mischief causing fear among the public and under a relevant section of the Information Technology Act. Against "one Prashant Umrao," an FIR has been filed under various sections of the IPC including those for giving provocation with intent to cause a riot, promoting enmity and hatred, provoking breach of peace, and statement leading to public mischief, police said. Thoothukudi Central Police Station has filed the case. Umrao's verified Twitter handle said he is the spokesperson for Uttar Pradesh BJP. However, the TN police statement did not identify him as a Saffron party office-bearer.


Speaking to reporters along with Bihar officials, an office-bearer of the Bihar Association in Chennai said there cannot be a place better than Tamil Nadu for migrant workers in terms of hospitality and safety. "We are attending calls from Bihar. We can tell you for sure that all the videos claiming attacks in TN are fake. These have emerged from Bihar. I cross-checked claims and these are false," the association office-bearer said. In Bihar, returnees from Tamil Nadu, however, said that though they are back home for Holi festivities, they would not like to go back to the southern State if the "situation" did not improve. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had asked officials on March 2 to look into reports of attacks on migrant workers in Tamil Nadu and his deputy Tejashwi Yadav faced criticism from the opposition BJP for visiting TN. The Saffron party's Bihar unit chief Sanjay Jaiswal had claimed that Biharis were 'killed' in Tamil Nadu.

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